Monopoly has been a family favorite board game since it came out about a century ago. The fact that Monopoly is such an old game is not the only interesting thing about it. When I learned how old Monopoly is, it sparked an interest in me. I wanted to learn a bit more about the game and boy-oh-boy was I surprised to find out just how much I did not know about it. And that brings us to this post – everything you probably do not know about Monopoly!
These are 25 plus facts about Monopoly; the top 10 of which are:
- Monopoly was conceptualized by Elizabeth Magie Phillips in 1902.
- The game that preceded Monopoly was called The Landlord’s Game. The initial intention of the game was to teach players about the risks of monopolies in real life.
- Charles Darrow patented Monopoly in 1935 as a variation of The Landlord’s Game.
- Darrow took the idea of the Magie’s game and developed it into Monopoly. He then sold the game to Parker Brothers in 1935, where it was manufactured and sold in the US.
- The original game is based in Atlantic City in New Jersey and actually features property names from the city at the time. Of course, some of those properties no longer exist.
- Monopoly has been sold in almost 120 countries and is available in about 50 languages.
- No player tokens were included in the original game sold in 1935.
- The original six player tokens of Monopoly included the thimble, the iron, the shoe, the cannon, battleship, and top hat.
- The British version of the Monopoly game includes the names of well-known London streets.
- The first version of Monopoly sold by Parker Brother cost just $2. The price now varies according to the version of Monopoly that you buy.
These are the first 10 facts that I first learned about Monopoly, and I was intrigued to learn more. In all the years that I have been playing the game, I have been too caught up in the fun and excitement (or should I say competitiveness) to think of much else.
Now that you have a titbit of information on the game, you are probably dying to learn more just like I was. If that is the case, simply read on for many more fun facts about Monopoly.
More Facts About Monopoly That You Probably Do Not Know
Many of the first few facts that I learned about Monopoly were complete news to me. I am somewhat glad that I took the time to learn them as I can pass down this interesting information to other people that I play Monopoly with. Considering how often we haul the game out at family gatherings and social events, it certainly makes for interesting conversation and discussion.
So, are you ready to learn even more about Monopoly? Let’s jump right in:
11. Darrow was not immediately successful in selling Monopoly to Parker Brothers.
When he first tried to sell it, the company rejected the game stating that it had many fundamental errors, including the likes of the complexity of the game, the theme, and the length of the game. It was only after Monopoly started to receive a lot of success in local department stores in Philadelphia that Parker Brothers reconsidered and decided to purchase the game.
12. Darrow’s first version of the game, before selling it to Parker Brothers, was homemade from household materials.
The cards were hand-written, and the playing board was covered in oilcloth. There was nothing fancy about the physical game in itself. The game pieces (the houses and hotels) were made from wooden molding scraps.
13. Darrow’s niece and her friends are to thank for the die-cast playing tokens of Monopoly that became so popular.
They used to play with Crackers Jacks and bracelet charms.
14. When Monopoly took off, it really took off! 35,000 copies of Monopoly were being manufactured…
… each week within the first year of its release in the United States.
15. Mr. Monopoly’s real name is “Rich Uncle Pennybags”, even though he has been called Mr. Monopoly by many people for years.
In fact, it was only after rebranding that his name became officially “Mr. Monopoly”. I must admit that that is what I have always called him! That is not the only change that Mr. Monopoly has gone through. In 2008, he also did away with his classic bowtie and began sporting a silver M-shaped bowtie too.
16. Rumor has it that Mr. Monopoly was actually modeled after J.P Morgan.
Morgan was rather influential at the time and had a hand in founding the US Steel Corporation (which was considered a monopoly). This is, of course, a rumor and has not been denied or confirmed.
17. Other characters on the Monopoly also have fitting names.
The disgruntled looking prisoner is called “Jake the Jailbird” and the policeman pointing a finger is known as “Officer Edgar Mallory”. Now you know!
18. The very first Monopoly World Champions was held in Liberty, New York, in 1973.
It was won by Lee Bayrd of the United States. Every few years there are new World Champs for Monopoly held across the world.
19. How much money does a Monopoly game have? A standard Monopoly game includes a total of $20,580.
20. A Braille version of Monopoly was created in the early 1970s for the visually impaired.
Apparently, the game board as a molded overlay to help visually impaired players identify board features. Large brail and print markings are in each of the spaces on the board. The game cards are also extra-large and have braille and large printing on them. The dice and money also have braille included.
21. In 1978, a chocolate Monopoly game was sold for $600 on the Neiman Marcus catalog.
The Stanford Daily featured a newspaper article on the board game, which was purchased by a teenager who claimed to simply “like it” and therefore want to buy it. The pieces were mostly chocolate or buttercream. You can read the Stanford Daily article on the game here.
22. According to the Guinness World Records, the costliest Monopoly game ever made cost over $2,000,000.
The game, which included a 23-carat board and a diamond-studded dice, was designed by Sidney Mobell, who is one of the most unusual artists who focuses on turning regular items into highly valued pieces of jewel-encrusted art. The game board was on display at the Museum of American Finance as part of the Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day.
23. Monopoly played a role in the Second World War.
Monopoly game boards taken into prisoner of war camps had escape route maps, files, compasses, and real money hidden inside them to help prisoners escape. It is said that Waddingtons actually produced games with these items inside them to help prisoners escape.
24. The longest recorded game of Monopoly ever played lasted for more than just a few hours (or days!).
In fact, the longest game was as long as 70 days! When you put it into perspective, the impressiveness (or madness) of this is evident. The average Monopoly game only takes around 60 to 90 minutes, but the longest game took a total of 1680 hours!
25. There are over 300 licensed versions of Monopoly.
Which include various themes such as movies, sports themes, Rick and Morty, Transformers, and so on. You can browse around online and quite simply take your pick!
26. Standard Monopoly games include 32 houses and 12 hotels.
27. In 2008, the mobile app version of Monopoly was awarded the Mobile Excellence Award for the Best Mobile Game.
Now there are many versions of mobile Monopoly apps for you to choose from.
28. More than 3,000 Monopoly fans set a new world record in 2008 for the most people ever playing Monopoly simultaneously.
As it turns out, there is a lot about Monopoly that many of us don’t know. Hopefully these 25 plus facts have brought you up to speed, even though there is a lot more than you can and should learn about the game and its history.
Whether you know everything there is to know about the game or not, simply throw yourself fully into it and have a great time. It’s obvious that Monopoly will be a family favorite for life!